Ontario Peach Pie

IMG_0015The year has been passing by at light speed, taken up with work, a few vacations, and all the little things that use up a day. I’ve gotten quite a few questions lately about my blog. Why haven’t I posted much this year? What am I drinking? The truth is probably two-fold- I’ve amassed quite a portfolio of favourite wines and recipes and don’t always have new food and drink to share, and having a computer-heavy day job can be a drain on the creative juices.

But if there’s anything that might get a cook’s energy back up, it is late summer and early fall in Ontario. Having grown up a prairie girl, I am amazed every year here when the bounty begins to roll in. Niagara peaches are one of my very favourite treats, but they tend to come in huge baskets and ripen all at once. Every August at this time I search for a random peach pie recipe, and then think, why haven’t I posted this so I’ll know what to make next year?

IMG_0017This year I found two good recipes: One for the #1 Best Pie Crust Ever and the other for Mama Thornton’s Peach Pie, both from the Food Network. The pie crust uses butter and shortening and has definitely replaced my old standard Crisco recipe. The butter makes the dough less crumbly and easier to work with, and browns up so beautifully I could hardly wait for the pie to cool before slicing through the crisp crust into the peaches below. The peach filling is fantastic- gooey but not runny and just the right amount of sweet. The only change I made was to double the lemon juice and add a splash of vanilla extract.

So, if you have peaches ripening en masse at this very moment- I hope a peach pie is in your future.

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Peach Buckle

Peach Buckle

Fresh baked peach buckle.

This recipe is my first foray into the world of Smitten Kitchen. I’m sure that many food bloggers already know about this bible of a food blog, but for those who haven’t seen it, I highly recommend the site. It is one of the only food blogs I read on a regular basis; the photography is great and the recipes are always fresh, in season and creative.

A few weeks ago, a Nectarine Brown Butter Buckle was posted, and I decided to actually try one of Deb’s recipes, rather than just ogle them online. Luck would have it that I ended up with some extremely ripe Ontario peaches just as I was invited to a dinner party. This smelled so divine baking today that I’m surprised Kevin was able to leave it alone long enough to get it to the dinner party!

I decided to leave out the brown butter part and change the nectarines to peaches. The comments online were that the taste wasn’t much different, andĀ  I am supremely lazy when it come to baking. And cooking, really. I hate it when any recipe has many steps…..make this…set aside to cool…etc, etc. Usually I just skip the whole thing entirely.

Also, all I had was an 8 inch round cake pan, and the recipe called for 10 inch. I attempted to cut the ingredients down by about 1/3. So, here is my version of a buckle (also known as a tasty cake with fruit in the middle and streusel on top).

If you have a 10″ pan or prefer brown butter, I would suggest using the original recipe.

Peach Buckle

Peach Buckle Layer

Peach pinwheel.

This version fits an 8″ cake pan.

Cake

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tspĀ  salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 medium peaches, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice

Streusel

2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Peach Buckle Streusel

On goes the streusel.

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Start with the cake batter: Melt the butter, mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Add in dry ingredients and stir well. I used the same bowl for all of it. Less dishes, less steps = happy me.

2. Grease baking pan. Spread batter in the pan and top with sliced peaches. Make a pretty pattern in you like.

3. Mix together the streusel until it is crumbly, you can do it in the cake batter bowl to save dishes. Pour over the cake batter and peaches to cover. Some peaches and batter will still be visible.

4. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. It will be done when the cake springs back when you poke it, and the cake isn’t jiggly when you shake it.

It was a hit at dinner, we served it with some vanilla ice cream and the tartness of the peaches, the mildness of the cake and the sweet of the ice cream were a great match.

I reduced the sugar a bit in my version, which was great when paired with ice cream. You might want a bit more sugar if you plan to serve alone. Also, I found the cake the tiniest bit dry, so perhaps a bit more milk in the recipe, or baking 35 minutes. However, I may just be being picky, because Kevin said the moistness of the peaches went well with the texture of the cake.